Responses of Soras insurance company limited to changes in The external environment in Rwanda
In the last ten years there has been an increase in rapidity and volatility of the environment in Africa in general and Rwanda in particular. Unfortunately, there is no known research that has been undertaken on this area, thereby leaving a knowledge gap. It is on this basis that research on this area was desirable. The objectives of this study were; to determine the forces of change in the external environment of Soras Insurance Company Limited, and to establish the responses of SORAS Insurance Company Limited to changes in the external environment in Rwanda. Data was collected through in depth interviews undertaken by the researcher herself. The data was analyzed and presented by way of content analysis. The interviewees of the study were ten departmental heads including Finance, Human Resources, Underwriting, Claims, Legal, and Customer Relations, Medical, Marketing and Sales, ICT and Training. The research findings found out that SORAS has been experiencing environmental turbulence. The major threat to SORAS was found to be the increased levels of emanating from regional companies especially from the EAC block offering wider, superior products than SORAS. The study also identified other forces of change including technology, and customer preferences and tastes, among others. SORAS Insurance was found to have crafted various strategies in response to these changing environmental conditions. The company's key strategy was adoption of strategic leadership. SORAS also responded to the changes in the environment through diversification of products and markets, use of ICT, utilization of marketing strategies, low priced products as well as market niching, among others. This study was not without limitations. The unwillingness of the interviews to provide the desired data and limitations of a case study findings' non applicability across industry were the key limitations. Given these limitations, the researcher recommends that further research be undertaken on; Responses of Rwandan insurance companies to changes in the external environment in Rwanda, responses of foreign insurance companies to changes in the external environment in Rwanda, and the role of strategic leadership in the growth of SORAS Insurance business .The nature of competition posed by SORAS's markets outside Rwanda; and the role of strategic leadership in the growth of SORAS Insurance business. The findings of the study have many implications on policy and practice. SORAS need to put in place a Research and Development department charged with not only gathering and analyzing competitor intelligence information but also exploring new markets and new products. R & D will also be charged with innovations and environmental monitoring and possible firm investment. The firm should also consider additional outsourcing of non-core functions such as auditing, archiving, public relations and information technology, among others.